Bruxism is the technical term for clenching and grinding, a subconscious condition that often occurs nocturnally. As a result, patients may be unaware they have this habit until they begin to experience symptoms, receive complaints from sleeping partners as grinding can be noisy, or it is diagnosed by a dentist.
Common symptoms include increased tooth sensitivity, noticing teeth look chipped or worn down, or waking up with an aching jaw or persistent headaches. Bruxism can create extensive facial pain, affecting the head, neck and shoulders and may lead to TMD.
TMD, or temporomandibular joint disorder is where the jaw joints and muscles operating the lower jaw become inflamed. This can cause the joints to pop or click and patients may find it uncomfortable or painful to speak or to chew. TMD can be due to bruxism, or it may be caused by a blow to the jaw or arthritis in the jaw joints.
We want all our patients to be free of any type of dental pain or discomfort at all times and are here to help you if you suspect you might have either of these conditions. A gentle but thorough examination, combined with diagnostic tests will help us discover the cause of your pain.
The most straightforward treatment is for our dentists to prescribe a custom-made night guard that prevents the teeth from contacting during sleep. More complex cases of bruxism or TMD may require specialised treatment and we will always ensure you receive the best and most up-to-date personalised dental care.
Bruxism has the potential to cause extensive damage to teeth and gums and to the jaw joints (temporomandibular joints) and could eventually lead to tooth loss. We strongly encourage you to contact us if you think you may have this condition. You can call us on (03) 9419 7022 or visit us at 3/55 Victoria St, Fitzroy VIC 3065.
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